As the B2B eCommerce market continues to expand across the globe, a localization strategy is becoming an increasingly crucial aspect of many companies’ online strategies. In part one of this series, we discussed the steps your business needs to take in order to start localizing your online store, such as translating your content into different languages. However, especially in the B2B world, it is also important to carefully consider every aspect of your payment and shipping processes when implementing a localization business strategy.
The Benefits of Localization Strategy on Payments
The most widely used B2B payment methods are bank wire, ACH credit, checks, and various card payments. In recent years, however, many businesses around the world have begun using a greater variety of online payment gateways. This means sellers must make sure that the most popular payment gateways used in their target markets are integrated into the platform. For example, some of the most popular payment gateways in the U.S. are PayPal, MasterCard, and Authorize.net. However, in Western Europe, iDeal, PayOne, Sage, and WorldPay are the most popular, while shoppers in China prefer Alipay. Some countries even expect to pay cash upon delivery. Accommodating these different preferences may seem like a challenge, but it is essential to instill familiarity when attracting buyers in new markets.
In addition to localizing the language used on the front-end of your store, you should also make sure that you convert pricing to the local currency. According to a survey of 30,000 online shoppers across Canada, the UK, Australia, and Germany, 92.2 percent said that they preferred to shop and make purchases on websites that display their local currencies. Look for an eCommerce platform that can automatically change your prices.
The Benefits of Localization Strategy on Shipping
For B2B companies interested in doing business internationally, it can also pay to do some research on local shipping options. Rather than relying on standard international carriers, such as FedEx and UPS, many countries may have local shipping services that they prefer. Some may even specialize in handling B2B orders. For instance, DPD is a major German shipping company that accounts for almost 30 percent of B2B shipping in Germany. As you create a strategy to enter new markets abroad, be sure to assess the shipping landscape so you know which services your customers are most likely to use.
Regardless of the carrier, international shipping can still often be much more expensive and complicated than regular shipping. For this reason, you should be as transparent as possible about any additional costs or fees associated with shipping. Include a shipping calculator and break down the charges so that your customers know exactly what they are paying for and when they expect to receive shipment. Also, remember to convert any weights or dimensions into local units.
When it comes to implementing a successful localization business strategy, payment and shipping localization are important steps to take before entering any new global markets. By offering local payment and shipping options, as well as automatically converting prices and dimensions into familiar formats, you can build trust with your new customer base and increase your sales. Be sure to also thoroughly explain your delivery process in order to simplify the complexities of international shipping.
In the final part 3 of our series, we will look at the final aspect of localization business strategy: taxes and fees in international markets.